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Wahoo High School students pose with former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser.

WHS Students Attend Writing Festival Hosted by Former U.S. Poet Laureate

Ted Kooser Shares His Passion and Expertise

Eight Wahoo High School students and WHS English Teacher Larry Fangman recently attended an outdoor writing festival at Homestead National Monument in Beatrice. Former United States Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser, read poetry to students, talked about the writing of poetry, and answered student questions. 

Ted Kooser listens intently as Kayla Coffey reads her poem.

Over the lunch break, students walked around the park and wrote poetry. Then after lunch, students read their poems out loud and received feedback from Kooser. Wahoo students Nicole Miller, Emily Widger, Cassie Buckmaster, Ashley Jordan, Kinsey Clark, Kayla Coffey, Ashley Sloup, and Amy O’Sullivan read the poems they wrote to the audience of 100 students from across Nebraska. 

Poems written by students will be published in a festival book. Each student attending will receive a free copy.

Nicole Miller, Kayla Coffey, and Emily Widger focus on the process of writing poetry.

Students attending the writing festival received a free copy of Kooser’s poetry book, The Blizzard Voices, which is a collection of poems recording the devastation unleashed on the Great Plains by the blizzard of January 12, 1888. The Blizzard Voices is based on the actual reminiscences of the survivors as recorded in documents from the time and written reminiscences from years later. In Kooser’s book are the haunting voices of the men and women who were teaching school, working the land, and tending the house when the storm arrived and changed their lives forever.

Students commented afterwards that the beautiful weather, the outdoor setting, and the humor and knowledge of Mr. Ted Kooser made the writing festival one of their favorite field trips. 

WHS Students Attend Writing Festival Hosted by Former U.S. Poet Laureate

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